Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quick Fix (01/12/06)

Ok, so here's a quick image to make you laugh.
Regardless of how you feel about Brokeback Mountain (and many people are chiming in with their feelings), this poster, for anyone who grew up in the 80s, is hysterical. I could imagine a whole line of these with Cobra Commander and one of the G.I. Joes, or two of the Transformers.

Slander a la Leab (01/12/06)

The triumphant return of Slander a la Leab. Why do I hear crickets...and an echo? Wow, that's weird.
Oh well, let's get to tonight's SLANDERAMA!
Camp Fox 9
With the demise of Camp Snoopy coming in just a week, a new suitor has already swooped into
the Mall of America and bought the camp. Preparations have begun on the new FOX 9 CAMP FOR KIDS.
That's right.
Not content with creating buzz via the blimp, Fox 9 wants to start grabbing younger viewers.
"We've been number one with adults in the Twin Cities," Jeff Passolt remarked, but it's time to start doing what Big Tobacco does: Grab them while they're young!"
To that end, the Fox Corp has bought out the park and is in the process of designing or renaming current rides.
The Twister is going to be renamed The Fair and Balanced Coaster. "The news can twist and turn with every fact or secret learned," Passolt commented. "This ride will show that."

The log run is going to be removed. In it's place will be a giant water slide on the back of a giant replica of Passolt's head. Riders will climb up the side and then ride down the back into a giant pool of creamy water.
"It's supposed to be like the hair gel he puts in his hair," co-anchor Robyne Robinson commented. "They'll see what I deal with everyday. Have you ever picked up the copy after he's touched his hair? It's NASTY!"
The merry go-round will be stripped and re-covered in Robinson designed
jewelry. It's new name will be Rox Go-Round. In addition, riders will be able to purchase jewelry right off the ride. That's getting the kids AND parents involved. Something they can even share.
Other areas include:
The Chef Andrew Zimmern Chowhounds! stage. Kids can learn how to cook their favorite foods and bully restaurants into free meals. Every Friday night the Chowhounds! show will come from the stage with audience participation.
Janie Peterson Weather Center where kids can fire snow, rain, or even hail at each other. Oh, and they can also learn how weather works...and stuff.
The Fox 9 Minnesota Sports Area. Just like the real Minnesota teams, there's enough flash and pizzaz to make you think it's going to be good. Then the lack of spending disappoints and sends the kids home angry and cursing professional sports. Nothing like getting kids to understand the real Minnesota sports scene.

And, to tie them to the parent corporation, the Bill O'Reilly Virtual Desk.
The park expects to be ready to open sometime in March.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Fun With Lists (Part Drei) 01/11/06

I had a list thrown at me in my mail this morning. I do have a story, which I'll get to later, but I thought this list was pretty funny. So, enjoy, and please, feel free to use it as well. I have searched this list and found it on multiple blogs, so others have definitely done it first.
A is for age: A lady never tells her age. Wait...I'm a guy! Damn! 27.
B is for Booze of choice: Wine. White wine to be exact. You need names? Sigh. Toasted Head Chardonnay, Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, and Conundrum White Table Wine. I need a glass. Excuse me.
C is for career: I'm a teacher. Yup. High school English teacher. I'm the one that you end up either loving or hating by the time you leave. I also do tech work, but that's another issue all together.
D is for your dog's name: No dog, folks. I like to travel, and that's hard with a dog. I have three cats, however. They would be Oscar, Sam, and Ulysses. Good luck trying to figure out where the names come from, folks. (Mmmm. Smells like a challenge.)
E is for essential items you use everyday: Hmm. How to answer this.... Pants? Hmm. Ok, Two bottles of water, a computer, a pen (usually purple), annnnd sarcastic wit. The last one is the most essential.
F is for favorite song at the moment: Right now? Hmm. Ok, there's two:
1. Overkill by Colin Hay (the acoustic version of the Men at Work tune.
2. Lovetown by Peter Gabriel.
G is for favorite games: Trivial Pursuit, The Tick Boardgame, Blackjack, and The Movies.
H is for hometown: New York, New York, it's a hell of a town! Though my parents now live in a small town in Connecticut now.
I is for instruments you play: Cello, then Bass Guitar.
J is for jam or jelly you like: Can I answer this with music? Yes? No? Hello?
K is for Kids: Not yet. I sure hope they look like my wife....
L is for last kiss: Hang on....2 seconds ago.
M is for most admired trait: You tell me. Hang on. "Honey...." She says my humor and my heart. I trust her.
N is for the name of your crush: My beautiful wife.
O is for overnight hospital stays: I had a concussion in high school and had to be observed. When I was seven, I had to have several teeth removed at once (some of which were located almost inside my jaw. I apparently did two things wrong that day:
1. I was told to count down from 20 when the anesthesia started. I managed to do it. Then I was told to go from 100 and made it to around 50. The doctors thought it was weird.
2. I was injected with a chemical to calm me down. It didn't work, and entertained the doctors. I'm told "Like mother, like son." Awesome.
P is for phobias: None really. Oh wait! Umm...uuhhhh. Nope.
Q is for quotes you like: "The reasonable man attempts to adapt himself to the world. The unreasonable man attempts to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -Ralph Waldo Emerson.
R is for biggest regret: I would say it was my first Ex, but she taught me a great deal about life.
S is for sweets of your choice: Twizzlers.
T is for the time you wake up:6:02 am CST. At least that's when the alarm goes off. Sometimes I'm in bed for it, most times I'm already up. I love insomnia.
U is for underwear: Boxers. Yup. I was briefs until high school, then I wised up.
V is for vegetable you love: Carrots. I love em (using love here folks). Broccoli too. Just started getting into asparagus. My sister once ate SO many carrots that she had an orange tint. That's awesome.
W is for worst habit: I'm really blunt, I like to joke around, and I have no problem telling people about their issues when I see them struggling with the same problems I used to have.
X is for x-rays you've had: Are we including MRI or CT scans? If so then the entire body. Mouth, knees, arms, legs, feet, head, etc.
Y is for yummy food you make: We cook a great deal. Mostly from Rachael Ray's books. Favorite dish would have to be what I made for my wife on our second date: Swiss Chicken with rice, carrots, and hot fudge cupcakes.
Z is for zodiac sign: Scorpio! Water sign, baby. Those of you who understand and/or believe in the zodiac will love this: I married a Sagittarius. Mull over that one for a while.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (01/10/06)

Tomorrow is hump day (for those of you with a high school mind, that's another term for
I have to tell you, I love the sitemeter.
Looking over the number of people who looked for Sherno today, I found a few people had been to the blog by searching for, "Mr. Leab's Blog."
What does this tell me? It means more students have been googling my name.
Am I nervous? Does this face look nervous?
How about we get to tonight's ramblings. It's short.
So, without further ado: PUNCH IT!
It's like the Necronomicon:
Anyone who reads this blog a fan of H.P Lovecraft? Ok, then how about Ash from the Evil Dead
series? I'm betting for more of you it's the latter. There's nothing wrong with that. I, myself, am a big fan of the Evil Dead series.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series (or with Lovecraft), the films revolve around The Necronomicon, or the Book of the Dead. Essentially, the book, which is, "written in blood and bound in human skin," has the power to raise the dead (called Deadites...seriously). Now, throughout the three films, Ash, played by Bruce Campbell, has to deal with his friends being possessed, his friends (and girlfriend) dying, and with a malevolent demon that casts him back in time. While the first film was supposed to be horror, the lack of budget actually made it quite funny. The direcetor, Sam Raimi, was able to capitalize on this and made two sequels that were both cult hits and quite funny. For example, the best gag in Evil Dead 2 finds Ash (our hero) having to cut off his hand (which has been possessed. Just go with it). Now, his hand attacks him, etc, etc. He grabs his cut off hand and beats it with a book, then throws it in a trash can and throws that book on top of it. The book? A Farewell to Arms. How brilliant is that?
At this point you're asking: "Leab, why the hell are you talking about this? What's the deal?"
Well, I read an article today about a bunch of books in Brown's library that are bound in human skin. That's right, boys and girls, human skin of the "bring out your dead" variety.
Does it make sense? Sure. Bibliophiles, if you're out there, back me up.
Skin makes a great binding because of it's ability to last. When we embalm a person, the fluid keeps the skin from rotting. Binding a book in the 1500s was probably the same way.
Even better? The books Brown has are medical texts. It works out perfectly.
There are several people who have picked up the text and freaked out at the fact it's made from us (IT'S PEOPLE!!!). I asked my wife:
"Honey, would you ever pick up a book made of skin?"
"What? Ewwwwww."
"Oh come on. How is that really any different from leather?"
"It's people."
"Yeah, but it's not like they went to a prisoner and flayed him, then threw the skin on a book. They probably tanned it, and such."
"It doesn't matter."
See, even rationally thinking people are frightened by it.
I'm not, but then again, maybe it's just me....
You know what? That's going to be it for the night.
Tomorrow, I'll tell another story...maybe. I've noticed story time doesn't generate any comments (or real mail). One student did ask me today if I was almost married (yup).
Still, that student also has goyum issues. It works out.
Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (01/09/06)

I know, I know, dear reader, it's Monday, and usually it means mail time, but I was unhappy with the mail I received this week. Mostly angry mail, which isn't worth even repeating (lot of the "you'll burn in Hell, yada, yada, yada" kind of mail).
So, I present a special monday ramblings. Love it or leave it.
So, without further ado: GRASSHOPPER!
The Legality of Stamp Scalping:

On Sunday, the post office went to its new 39 cent stamp. Dozens of people stormed the post offices around the metro area attempting to pick up 1 and 2 cent stamps. I...was one of those schmoes. That's right, at 11:30 am on Saturday, I stood in a long line that reached out my post office's door. What was amazing to me was how people reacted in that line. Why does the post office lower our manner and tolerance levels? As we intrepid postal customers braved the 40 degree weather in order to use our remaining stamps (such cheapskates we are), the man at the front of the line made a large purchase. "That'll be 200 dollars, please," the clerk said.
After a quick transaction, the clerk whispered something to another clerk. A small pow-wow took place. Suddenly three pieces of paper were produced from behind the counter:
"We're sorry for the inconvenience, but we no longer have 1 or 2 cent stamps."
All hell broke loose among the crowd.
"I've been here for a half an hour! How could you run out of stamps?!"
"What the hell, lady?!"
"I think I pooped my pants!" (This wasn't said, but the woman behind me smelled like she did.)
"What do I do now?"
Murmurs arose as the back of line started breaking off and going toward the man who had the 200 dollar purchase.
Slowly what happened dawned on those of us toward the front of the line: The man had bought ALL of the 1 and 2 cent stamps this post office had.
After purchasing some 39 cent stamps (I always buy the Breast Cancer Stamps. Do some good, people), I made my way outside only to see the guy who had bought the stamps standing across the street. I had some time to kill (my lovely but sick wife was passed out at the time), so I went over to see what the hub-bub around this guy was.
A large crowd had gathered around him, and as I stepped on the curb, I found out why.
"1 cent stamps are 5 cents, and 2 cent stamps are a dime."
That's right. He was selling stamps at a higher price, and he was making that profit.
Now, I don't know the rules, but I assume (someone correct me if I'm wrong) selling stamps at a higher price is...what's the word...hmmm...oh yeah...ILLEGAL!
Seriously, how horrible is it to prey on the people who don't think about how they're being gouged?
I know, you're thinking, "Leab, if they're stupid, it's they're own damn fault. I mean look at Benny Hinn's followers."
Well, you're right, but it's still preying upon older people who may not be able to make the leap between the price gouge and just buying a sheet of 39 cent stamps ($7.80).
I've seen this kind of trick with gas stations in New York, I've seen this during storm season in Missouri (after a particularly bad tornado, several mini-marts raised the prices of "the essentials" accordingly), and I've seen this with art and books after someone dies.
Inevitably, someone will figure out how to make money on something. A person is smart. People are dumb, but a person is smart. This guy, whoever he is, probably made a ton of money. He did it in a smart way. Not necessarily a good way, but he was smart about it.
Still, I want to know: Is what he did illegal?
Conversations with my Wife I:
It's up to you to figure out who is who in this conversation:
"What about love?"
"What about it? There are two kinds of love in this country."
"Sure. There are those who love each other unconditionally. They cherish their time together, and they work as a unit to make the daily grind hurt less. That's the first."
"What's the other?"
"Easy, divorce."
"Relationships without trust or love can't last. That's why we're still together. We love each other. We trust each other. We back each other up when going to war."
"Sigh. Look, 50% of the relationships in this country end in divorce or actually just end, because the two people involved don't overcome the initial inertia."
"Nice alliteration."
"Haha. Seriously. When a relationship starts, it's all fun and new, but soon it's starts to hit the the bottom of the run (I'm using the rollercoaster analogy here). So what happens? The work has to begin to get the coaster back to the top for the drop. Overcoming the inertia."
"What about hot and heavy couples? Or what about bed buddies?"
"Ah, eventually it either ends or becomes more serious. Inertia."
"You're insane."
"But I love you. And you love me. Isn't that what matters?"
Burning Down the House:

So there's this guy in New Mexico. He's burning leaves (tra la tra la tra la) and discovers a mouse. He looks at the mouse and ponders, "How shall I deal with this? Hmm. Ah, fire seems to be the mortal enemy of mice, thus I shall pitch this little vermin into the physical manifestation of Hell!" (Translation: Mousey go in the fire.)
So, Genius (as I call him) picks up the mouse and tosses it into the fire.
After a few seconds, the man returns to gathering leaves.
Our mouse, however, is not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.
The little vermin, ablaze and all, bolts out of the pile of leaves and runs back into the man's house. Faster than our little 81 year guy can move, the house...catches on fire.
The mouse died, but it took this man's house with him.
This is one of those stories that makes you laugh, but at the same time, you feel bad for the guy...and the mouse.
and finally....

Emu: It's a Real Bird:
There are people out there who really don't believe certain animals exist.
"There's no such thing as an emu, Leab. It's a made up bird."
Yeah. Well, here's proof. Look at this beautiful (yet extremely volatile) bird.
Are they pretty? Sure.
Are they mean? Oh most definitely.
So, to the students who were SO sure Emu's don't exist: Here's proof.
Oh and penguins. Yeah. Penguins CAN'T FLY. Get over it.

Ok kids. That's it for tonight.
Have a good evening and take care of yourselves.
Oh, and seniors. You're not out yet, so don't give me that "Too cool for school" crap.